Herb crusted Chicken with Caramelized Onion Jam on Ciabatta

Serves 4 to 6


For herb crusted chicken

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
Zest of 1 lemon
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups arugula leaves, for sandwich
Ciabatta, recipe follows

For caramelized onion jam

2 tablespoons canola oil
4 sweet onions, sliced thin
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup water


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine herbs and lemon zest. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and coat in herb mixture. In a large sauté pan, add oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and sea on one side, flip breast and then place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on thickness of breast) or until cooked through. Once out of oven, let rest 10 minutes and then slice on breasts on the bias.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, add oil over medium low heat. Add onions and cook very slowly, 10 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar and water and season with salt. Cook until onions are deep golden brown and sauce is reduced to a syrupy sauce, 15 to 20 minutes more.

To assemble sandwich, spread onion jam on ciabatta loaf, top with arugula leaves and sliced chicken breast. Cut into individual sandwiches and serve.

For ciabatta

Makes 2 loaves


For sponge

½ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (105°-115°F)
13 cup room-temperature water
1 cup bread flour

For bread

½ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm milk (105°-115°F)
23 cups room-temperature water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1½ teaspoons salt


Make sponge

In a small bowl stir together yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl, stir together yeast mixture, room-temperature water, and flour and stir 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

Make bread

In a small bowl, stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl of a blender, blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour and combine with wooden spoon. Add salt and mix. Turn out dough from bowl on floured surface and knead until soft, about 10 minutes. Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.)

Have ready a rimless baking sheet and 2 well-floured 12-by-6-inch sheets parchment paper. Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone or 4 to 6 unglazed “quarry” tiles (see note, above) arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet. Line up for edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone or tiles in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. With a large spatula transfer loaves to a rack to cool.